Blackhawks sign minor league goalie Jeff Glass to 2-year contract

The move solidifies some minor league depth for the organization.

The Chicago Blackhawks signed minor league goaltender Jeff Glass to a two-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

Glass joined the organization in January when he signed a minor league contract with the Rockford IceHogs. Now he’s moved up to an NHL deal with the Blackhawks, which starts this season and runs through 2017-18. Other terms of the deal aren’t announced, but it’s presumably a cheap two-way contract.

Since being drafted in the third round of the 2004 NHL Draft by the Senators, Glass has bounced around the hockey world. He spent several years with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, then played in the KHL from 2009-16 with six different teams. Even in Russia, Glass was a journeyman.

He returned to North America on a tryout contract with the Maple Leafs in the fall of 2016, but ended up getting assigned to the AHL and eventually released. That’s when the IceHogs scooped him up.

In 12 games with Rockford, Glass has posted a 6-5-0 record, 2.33 goals allowed average, and .917 save percentage. That last number leads the team after poor to middling stints from Lars Johansson (.907), Mac Carruth (.886), and Jake Hildebrand (.868).

There was some speculation initially following the Glass signing that it was an expansion draft move, but that’s not necessarily the case. Carruth is a restricted free agent this summer, and would have covered the Blackhawks’ expansion draft requirement for unprotected goalies if he received a qualifying offer.

Now Glass will cover that requirement if Carruth doesn’t receive a qualifying offer, so the Blackhawks are good either way, but this move wasn’t done purely with that in mind. Given the superior play of Glass this season, they may just prefer him as their AHL goalie for now.